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How to Plan a Wrestling Banquet

The end-of-the-season awards banquet is one of the most important events for coaches and wrestlers. During this banquet, coaches get a chance to reward their team by providing a fun event that is centered around the recognition of each wrestler’s hard work.

However, it can cost you a considerable amount of money to host a banquet, not to mention the time it will take to plan and put everything together. So if you’re planning a banquet, you’re in luck! This guide will provide you with all of the basic information you will need to know in order to put together a quality awards banquet that your wrestlers and their families will appreciate and enjoy.

Figuring Finances

The first thing you must think about when planning your team’s awards banquet is your budget. Depending on the size of the team, the cost of your banquet could be steep. Remember, you will need to cover the costs of food, awards, entertainment, and any other necessities required.

You also want to keep in mind that the banquet is a reward for your wrestlers; your first priority as a coach is keeping the cost to attend low, if not free of charge. Despite this ideal situation, it’s understandable that a completely free banquet may not be possible due to strict team budgets. If need be, start fundraising for the banquet at the beginning of the season. Doing so could subsidize or even eliminate the cost of the banquet for your wrestlers.

Another way to cut down on costs is by getting food, equipment, and other materials donated. You have many options for cutting the overall cost of the banquet, so make sure to plan early and always keep in mind what it will cost for your wrestlers.

Choosing a Venue

There are numerous places you may hold a banquet for your team; there isn’t a “right” or “wrong” place to host it. All that matters is what you think your wrestlers deserve and what they, as well as their families, will enjoy most.

The most common places wrestling banquets are held are in banquet halls, community centers, or other similar types of recreational facilities. Many coaches opt for these types of facilities because they are designed to accommodate large groups. Such facilities typically provide almost everything you need in a venue, such as:

  • Seating
  • Kitchen/cookware
  • Sound and video equipment
  • Stage and/or podium
  • Parking
Hot Tip: Community Discount

Did you know that many community centers and other types of municipal facilities often rent to school-related sports teams at a discounted rate, or sometimes even free of charge? Check with the facilities in your area to see if your team qualifies for some type of discount.

You may also choose to hold your banquet at a less-formal venue, such as a restaurant. This is a great choice if you don’t want to deal with the hassles of organizing, cooking, and cleaning for a large event. However, restaurants that cater to large groups often charge considerable fees for food and to rent out their facilities.< /p>

Keep your budget in mind when choosing a restaurant or another type of venue. Also, wherever you choose to hold your team’s banquet, make sure to make adequate accommodations long in advance; the beginning of your season is the best time to reserve the venue and start planning.

Cater to the Crowd

It’s important to remember that you will have a room full of hungry wrestlers (that don’t need to make weight!) and their families on your hands. Because of this, one of your priorities when planning your awards banquet is to provide plenty of relatively healthy, tasty food items.

You can always leave the food selection up to private caterers. This is a good choice if you’re worried about the overall amount of food and variety. However, catering costs can be expensive. If possible, it’s healthier and more cost effective to actually purchase and cook the food yourself. If necessary, ask a dedicated parent who is skilled in the kitchen to help you cook in bulk. Make sure to provide a main course, side dishes, drinks, and possibly dessert.

Hot Tip: More is Better!

It’s always better to have more food than you need than not enough. Make sure to provide a little extra food to make sure that everyone has plenty. If necessary, send home some leftovers or donate them to a local non-profit organization that provides food for needy members of the community.

Recognize Hard Work

The most important part of a wrestling banquet is recognizing your wrestler’s hard work throughout the season. One way to recognize your wrestlers is by giving them some type of award. Plaques, trophies, and medals are all common.

Now, deciding which of your wrestlers deserve awards is an extremely tough job. There will typically be a few wrestlers that stand out among the rest, and often times there will be more deserving wrestlers than actual awards. At the very least, make sure to recognize all wrestlers by mentioning their names or talking about each wrestler briefly. You can also hand out certificates and other types of awards for those who completed the entire season, but did not earn one of the main awards.

Some common awards coaches choose to give their wrestlers are:

  • Most Valuable Wrester
  • Most Improved Wrestler
  • Most Technical Wrestler
  • Most Pins
  • Most Takedowns
  • Best Wrestler

Have a Good Time!

You should now have a better idea of what you need to do to put your own team’s awards banquet together. Remember, there is no single type of banquet that is the best way to go. Be creative when planning your banquet, and don’t hesitate to change things up a bit. All that matters is that your wrestlers and their families have a good time, and that each member of the team feels accomplished and good about the work they put in over the course of the season. Good luck and have a good time!

Planning an awards banquet for a wrestling team is no easy task. Here you will find useful tips and suggestions to help you put together a banquet your team will enjoy.
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